Stillness Is Relative | An Interview with Painter Ming Ying

Meet Ming Ying. An oil painter originally from China who is devoted to bringing a fresh visual experience to her paintings. Her striking colours, exquisite composition, delicate sense of rhythm become unmistakable characteristics of her works. Her paintings won us over when she submitted her work to our LIFTED'18 art competition for emerging artists, and we couldn't wait to pick her brain. Here's what she had to say:

[DYD] What was your biggest inspiration when creating the pieces that we featured for this show?

[MY] My exploration of painting is based on an idea which is that everything is in absolute motion and stillness is relative. According to eastern Buddhism, all things in the world have a constant state of change and are interdependent, and for this, western philosophers have the same ideas. This triggered me, that I should bring this theory into my painting language so that I can give people a new type of visual experience, that is, dynamic feelings out of the flowing in my painting works.

[DYD] Can you tell us a bit about your process?

I did some sketches before I started to paint, some of them are extracted from ordinary objects, and some of them are from my imagination or impromptu draft. I would choose the satisfying ones to reflect in my formal painting works. I used visual stokes, flowing lines and intense colours to represent everything in my own way of observation. During the process, I may adjust picture’s effect according to some new changes or do some impromptu composition in the works, and I really enjoy this creative process.

[DYD] What made you decide to enter your artwork for LIFTED\\18 ?

[MY] I think that this is a precious stage for emerging artists to show their works and, through this platform, more and more people can enjoy the art works of young artists. I believe that it can really help talented and hard working artists exchange with each other and get their works evaluated by the people. I always spend much time focusing on creating art works which I really love to do and keep record of any inspiration appearing in my mind. Therefore, I cherish every chance to show my works, I believe this will be a precious experience for me.

[DYD] Are there any artists careers, styles or periods that inspire you? Why?

[MY] Georgia O'Keeffe and Jackson Pollock influence me a lot. The exquisite strokes and delicate temperament of painting attracted me a lot. I tried to assimilate this temperament in my painting, and combined it with energy which infected me deeply in Pollock’s paintings. Now I am doing a series of semi-abstract works to find a new breakthrough. Therese Oulton and Giacome Balla are my important reference for the recent stage. Their intriguing elements and arrangements of colours in paintings push me to think about the development direction of my subsequent works.

[DYD] What's your favourite thing to do outside of making art?

[MY] I like to listen to music or read novels. When I was a child, I studied playing piano. So music has become an essential part of my life. Classic music, pop music or other kinds of music can not only relax my mood but also provide me an inspiration for my creating work. I think the common point between art and music is that we can have a spiritual conversation with each other.

[DYD] How do you decide what to paint?

[MY] I am eager to express my thoughts about the life and culture of a society. So I can always find many perspectives to create works. Maybe I extract some objects from daily life, or just express an abstract imagination to reflect certain emotion or theory to viewers. Recently, I keep doing several series of experiments to solve different problems on process of painting language, after finishing this stage, I may focus on doing some specific realistic subjects.

[DYD] What is one thing in art that you want to get really good at?

[MY] I hope I am able to look at my work as a bystander as much as possible, although it is very hard for the author. Under that circumstance, I can keep a clear mind to gaze at and think about my works. I can think of what I need to insist on and what I need to improve.

[DYD] How do you know when a piece is finished?

[MY] Usually, I have different intention to start a series of works. I may finish a work as long as the work has reached the effect that I want at that moment, or I will stop because I think the picture is full enough, it will be broken if any other elements are added. The final effect sometimes will depend on my instinct and aesthetic experience.

[DYD] What, or who inspires you to become a better artist?

[MY] There are lots of factors influencing me. I think the biggest one is from my family. My parents support me a lot, they allow me to pursue my dream. They think that one's greatest happiness is to take up a career that he loves and finds interested. Therefore, I get huge spiritual power from them who stimulate me to move on in order to be a great artist in the future.

[DYD] Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

[MY] When I was a child in primary school, I only knew that I love painting and gradually found myself talented in drawing. A tutor I met at that time told me that I cannot give up painting , and inspired me to develop my talent in this aspect. So when I recalled my personal experience, maybe the concept of “artist” was formed in my mind at that time. I am really grateful to that tutor who triggered me to be an artist when I was just a kid.

[DYD] Do you intend for others to “see” and “feel” what you “see” and “feel” in your art? In other words, do you want others to get what you are saying with your art?

[MY] Of course, I hope so. I believe that, if a viewer has the similar feeling or experience as that of mine, he will surely get resonance out of these works, and if so, I will be much gratified. Usually I would have a clear intention to create some works, but sometimes I just depend on my impromptu instinct to present something which I cannot give an elaborate explanation. In many cases, words are not able to express things clearly ,especially when an art work is displayed there. So I don’t want to restrict viewers’ imagination, the viewers will have different understanding based on their own life backgrounding. If they can see something beyond my expectation, it will surely be better and fun. It's quite interesting to have different understandings and perceptions from people when they see a same artwork.

To see Ming Ying's work in person visit our group exhibition LIFTED'18 from December 10 - January 15, 2019 at the Genesis Cinema Gallery Space which features artwork from the other competition winners Celeste C.da Luz and Polina Dobrotina. Click here for more details about the exhibition or follow Ming on Instagram to see more of her artwork.

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Lauren Little

Lauren was born in London, but grew up in Canada where she received her degrees with distinction in Fine Arts and Education. Now she's back, she continues her work in creative arts by making art and teaching it, while developing opportunities for early career artists as the founder of the online platform Dark Yellow Dot.

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